UV tents are a great idea in principle, you pop them up and they instantly protect everyone in them from the sun. Except they’re not all equal. If your tent is too small, or doesn’t allow for adequate ventilation, what you end up with is a UV shelter, but one that is so unbearably hot you can’t sit in it.
I like the idea of personal shelters on the beach/in the park/in my own front room if need be. But then I am half hermit and I like to have somewhere to retreat to. I like the idea of my own little zone. But UV tents are also a great idea in the garden, in this weather. And children love them because I guess it taps into some primal response of having a ‘nest’ (you only have to watch children play to see how they love making hidey holes).
A few years ago, when I was writing the Personal Shopper column in the Guardian, I came across the UV Protector by Shelta. It’s this one here. My one hasn’t got any garish yellow, it’s all blue, which is much more chic but the yellow probably serves a purpose.
Anyway, it’s an excellent tent – think very hard before buying an inferior one and here’s why.
It’s big, but folds up small. The base is nearly 2m squared and when assembled it’s 135cm high or thereabouts. Small children can easily walk around in it.
It’s got poles in the design, but there’s no having to thread them through. To assemble it is a synch (although there is a rider, which I’ll tell you about in a moment), you just pull on two cords and up it goes. I struggle a bit as I’m only 5’2″ and so I’m at arm’s reach doing the initial pulling bit. But I just get someone to help me or stand on a chair. Taller people won’t struggle at all and you don’t need brute strength.
It’s also very easy to take down, takes seconds.
The carry bag it comes with is compact, but roomy. By that I mean it’s not one of those products that looks great when you first buy it, but to ever get it back in its carry case is impossible. You’ll have no problem getting the folded up tent back in.
It’s light and easy to carry and doesn’t take up much room in a boot.
You can vary the ventilation quite a lot, so you can have it open on both sides, or variations thereof. Plus cos it’s bigger than the average UV tent, it’s not so claustrophobic.
You can fill it up with blankets and pillows and be very comfortable. Although that yellow…